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One of the first things you should do when you get a new puppy is get him used to spending time in his crate, or Gunner G1™ Kennel. If your dog lives in the house, the crate is a good place for him to be when you don’t want him underfoot. It’s also the perfect solution for keeping him out of trouble when you’re not home, and the safest way for him to travel in the future.
Even if you house your dog in an outdoor run, there will still be times when it makes sense to crate him, so you definitely want to get him used to spending time in his crate from an early age. Slowly introducing a young dog to a crate is much easier than starting with an older dog.
We do have occasional customers who state that keeping your dog in a crate is “mean.” Our response is that unless you have the ability to watch your dog 24 hours a day, a crate is the best solution for keeping your dog safe and well-rested. A dog is a den animal and if introduced to a crate the correct way, will feel safe and comfortable in it. Below are the main reasons for crate-training your dog.
Heading out on a hunting trip or adventure is exciting for everyone, including your dog. Rather than having him loose in the truck, jumping around, stepping on your gear, shedding on the seats and getting mud all over the place, make him travel in his crate. That way he isn’t distracting the driver or wasting energy that he should be saving for the upcoming activity.
Dogs will also rest more comfortably after a hard day of activity when they can crawl into that nice, familiar crate, rather than trying to adjust to a new place like an unfamiliar vehicle or hotel room.
If you put your new puppy in his crate whenever you can’t be around to directly supervise him, he will come to regard it as his home. It’s his safe place. A dog quickly learns he can rest in this no-stress environment, and you can relax knowing he isn’t on the loose getting into trouble.
We do not suggest putting your new puppy in his crate and ignoring him or leaving him in there for hours on end. But he should learn that when it’s not training time, fun time, or dinner time, that means it’s time to rest, and the kennel is the place for that.
From the day you bring a new puppy into your house, he’s constantly learning. It’s up to you, however, if he’s learning good habits or bad habits. Whenever you put your pup into his crate, you should tell him “Kennel.” It won’t be long until he associates that command with going to his safe place. All of the other training you do with your dog will be based on verbal or visual cues. “Kennel” is a first, simple communication that you can build on.
One other thing to consider when buying a crate: Don’t buy a crate that’s larger than your dog really needs. If it’s large enough for him to turn around in and lie down comfortably, then it’s plenty big enough. When you’re traveling, those few inches between an Intermediate and Large crate can make a big difference in the safety of your dog should an accident happen. Not to mention, more room for your gear.
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